Why do I forget things?

When it comes to retaining memories, your brain is practically a bottomless pit – one that continues to deepen throughout your life. So why did you forget where you put your towel at swim practice? It turns out your brain is equipped with two types of memory…

Short-term: Powerful but fleeting, short – term memory is meant to store information – such as phone numbers, email addresses, and other humdrum everyday data, like the location of that towel at swim practice – that you won’t need to recall during your golden years. As you’d expect, short-term memories don’t linger. They fade even faster if you were distracted at the time the memory took shape (maybe a teammate was talking to you while put down your towel, or maybe you moved the towel many times during practice and your short – term memory can’t place its exact location).

Long-term: Experiences move from short-term to long-term memory when they’re  repeated (such as when you memorize flash cards to study for a test) or accompanied by meaningful emotions and significant sensory input (such as when you scored the winning goal or the day you got your pooch as a puppy). Scientists believe your brain has a limitless capacity for long – term memories, but sometimes you can’t recall a particular detail without help from sensory clues (a familiar smell is a powerful reminder) or the recollections of friends involved in the event.

Scientists blame such forgetfulness on a flaw on our ability to retrieve memories – a flaw that nonscientists call a ‘’brain fart’’.


Picture Credit : Google